Laboratories Director Steve Younger signed Sandia’s annual nuclear weapons stockpile assessment letter in late September. Completion of this annual assessment letter is required by law, and is one of the principal responsibilities of the Labs director.
The annual assessment encompasses the safety, reliability and performance of the elements of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile for which Sandia is responsible. The assessment process involves a set of exhaustive internal and external expert reviews on each weapon system, and represents the culmination of many months of work engaging every division at Sandia.
The directors of NNSA’s three nuclear weapons laboratories (Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore) and the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command each provide an annual assessment letter to the secretaries of energy and defense and the chair of the Nuclear Weapons Council. The letters are then submitted to the president along with the secretaries’ comments, conclusions and related information about the state of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.